Why I Value STC Rochester

If you’ve been following this blog over the last month (Thank you!), you know I’ve been writing about how our local STC chapter is redefining its value proposition and rethinking how we engage our membership and the community. This blog entry provides a personal view of how STC Rochester is valuable to ME.

Benefits–Why I’m in STC Rochester

  1. The opportunity to network globally with leading technical communications practitioners.
  2. The opportunity to network face-to-face with the local chapter.
  3. Engagement with high level and challenging thinkers in the technical communications profession helps me sharpen my own thinking. Iron sharpens iron.
  4. Opportunities for recognition through tech pubs competitions at local and international levels.
  5. The opportunity to be a change agent, to impact a close circle of fellow practitioners in a positive manner.
  6. The opportunity to help an organization reinvent itself to keep pace with a changing profession and society.
  7. The opportunity to use my skills and knowledge to mentor others and help them advance in the profession.
  8. The opportunity to forge friendships with a great group of people who face similar challenges.
  9. The opportunity to participate in regional and international conferences.
  10. The opportunity to learn.
  11. The joys and challenges of casting a shared vision.
  12. The opportunity to learn and practice servant leadership.

Cost–The flip side

  1. $240 in direct costs for international and chapter membership (subsidized by my employer)
  2. Another $80-100 for different meeting fees, tech comms publication entries, etc.
  3. One evening each month for our admin council
  4. One evening each month for meetings, programs, etc.
  5. One full day for Spectrum, our regional conference
  6. Ten-twenty hours to prepare a presentation at spectrum
  7. Many “spare” moments thinking about what we can achieve this year as a chapter. (I’m not sure if this is a cost or a benefit.)
  8. Countless hours at the keyboard communicating with chapter leadership and the chapter as a whole.

Your turn

Why are YOU active in your organization?

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11 comments

  1. Lori Meyer

    Thanks, Ben. I’m joining this conversation a little late, but what a great list you’ve shared. I identify very much with both the benefits and the costs. For me, the benefits always have outweighed the costs, in terms of what I’ve learned, the treasured friendships I’ve been able to make, and the perspectives I’ve gained about our profession. STC is meeting many challenges head-on, and I’m optimistic that we’ll all come through those challenges in a good place.

  2. Pingback: Writing the Next Chapter « Infosec Communicator
  3. Andrea Wenger

    Ben, thanks for this list. Lately I’ve been asking myself why I put so much time and energy into my STC chapter. Is it really worth it? Are members getting as much out of it as I’m putting in? Then, the chapter will have a great meeting like the one tonight. Steve Jong was in the Raleigh/Durham area, and he spoke to the Carolina chapter on the subject of STC Certification. (See the tweets under the hashtag #stccert.) STC is making big, positive changes that will affect the way the value of technical communicators is perceived. It’s an exciting time to be part of the organization, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to participate.

    • benwoelk

      Thanks Andrea,
      I’m glad the list was meaningful to you. There are times we all grow weary. I don’t think we always see the impact of our labors. I’m sure you’re making a difference. It’s been encouraging to me to dialogue with chapter leaders such as yourself across STC.
      Ben

  4. Paul Pehrson

    I get tons of benefits from my local STC chapter (Intermountain [aka Utah and Southern Idaho]), essentially what you enumerated in your list. I’m the chapter president, and we have a great chapter board.

    I love working with so many people who willingly volunteer their time to support the STC cause. As with any volunteer organization, nobody has to do anything. Everything they do for the organization is given from their own free will.

    When you bring together such positive energy, channeled into a single cause, it is fun to see what we can all accomplish together.

  5. benwoelk

    Hi Mary,
    Thanks for the affirmation. I’m hoping to provoke/inspire some serious thought as our chapter articulates our value proposition. I also hope to spark some thinking by other chapter leaders. I think it’s critical that we reevaluate our value proposition so that we can meet the needs of a changing market and membership.

    I hope preparations are going well for your Practical Communications conference. Judy’s looking forward to presenting there.

    Ben

  6. Mary Knepper

    Ben,
    I like your list. The greatest cost of any association is the time spent contributing to it and sharing in its activities. More money we can get; time we can’t. So when volunteers give their time, they are giving a lot. And we will get as good as our investment. Thanks for the investment. You have fans in ET. Keep encouraging all of us! Mary

  7. rita

    Nice Ben!

    The main reason I value STC Rochester is that it has always established a high quality standard for our profession, a means to measure our work against that standard, mentors to help us improve our work to attain or excel beyond that standard, and fresh new practitioners to challenge our thinking and keep us aligned with current practices toward further improving the standard.

    Beyond that, it is a place to share all of the emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual challenges associated with this work — with people who know exactly what it takes.

    Looking forward to this year’s journey!

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